11Kicks Fantasy Football Preview – The Weekend’s Chosen XI

Tim CahillThis year’s Premier League must be the toughest to predict in years, and of course this week will be no different. While Manchester United’s home game against Blackburn appears to be a home banker, the other top clubs face potential banana skins.

Arsenal kick-off the weekend with a tricky tie at Aston Villa knowing that they can ill-afford to drop more points. However, Arsene Wenger will be heartened to know that Chelsea and Manchester City both face tough away days at Newcastle and Stoke respectively. Tottenham’s game against Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Sunday also promises to be an interesting affair.

Bolton are a team creeping towards the top four and they’ll fancy themselves in a home game against Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.

With so many unpredictable matches picking your fantasy football team could be tough, but here are my 11Kicks week 14 picks to give you a helping hand. It’s not often that I ignore Chelsea players, but this is a weekend where Carlo Ancelotti’s men don’t seem to offer many good options. I’ve chosen a 3-5-2 formation because I think that midfielders give you the best chance to score big every week:

Tim Howard
Everton are still looking a little dodgy at the moment, but they will take heart from coming behind twice to take a point from Sunderland. Everton and West Brom both have 16 points so according to the league it should be a close game, but in reality the Baggies are on a slippery slope so Everton will hope to take a clean sheet from this one.

Nemanja Vidic
As I said, Manchester United’s home game against Blackburn appears to be one of the easier games to call so Vidic seems like a good shout. Despite their good little run of form, Blackburn seem lacking in the striker department so United look good to keep things tight this weekend.

Richard Dunne
Clean-sheets have been few and far between for Villa so far this year, as anyone who has had Dunne in their team all season will be able to testify. However, a home game against a struggling Arsenal team is a perfect time for them to break this duck.  Even if they don’t, the memory of Younes Kaboul finding a gap in Arsenal’s defence last week could bode well for Dunne.

Brede Hangeland
Birmingham have shown that their strength this year is in stopping goals rather than scoring them, which bodes well for Hangeland’s Fulham. It appears to be a decent match-up for the men from Craven Cottage so for that reason I’ve chosen Hangeland.

Gareth Bale
You don’t need me to tell you how good he is, so I won’t. Tottenham didn’t exactly have to run themselves into the ground to beat Werder Bremen in midweek so presumably they’ll be fresh on Sunday afternoon. Liverpool will be tough so Spurs will need a real match winner and with Van der Vaart doubtful, Bale could be the man.

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Tim Cahill
Cahill is on the scoring run of his life and it doesn’t seem like Everton can go a game without him scoring so for that reason Cahill is my captain this week. West Brom are in dreadful form, Cahill isn’t. Simple as that.

Chung-Yong Lee
The great thing about changing your team every week is that you can jump on the bandwagon of any player who’s experiencing a purple patch, and Bolton’s Lee is one of those players. A few weeks ago he was well off the radar, but after his good showings against Wolves and Newcastle I expect another at home against Blackpool.

Stewart Downing
Arsenal’s back five to look shaky to say the least so it makes sense that Villa’s biggest attacking threat this season will be looking to have a profitable day. With a goal and two assists in his last three games Downing is hoping to impress this season to get his name back into England reckoning.

Kevin Nolan
Nolan and Carroll have been Newcastle’s most important players this season and despite Chelsea’s slump, Newcastle will need big performances to take three points. Nolan has a very impressive seven league goals this season and Chelsea seem to be inconsistent at the back of late.

Kevin Davies
Davies is experiencing one of his most productive seasons in the Premier League. With six goals to date he is only one goal behind his tally for the entirety of last season, and even though Blackpool have accrued more points in away games this season I think Bolton will win convincingly.

Frederic Piquionne
Despite only winning one game this year, on more than one occasion West Ham have proved that they can be tough to beat. The Hammers, and Piquionne especially, were pretty bad last week at Liverpool, but Wigan at home is a totally different proposition and Piquionne could guide West Ham to their second win of the season.
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